Monday, April 28, 2014

Our bodies bear the burden

This is an excerpt from the forward of Robert Scaer's book The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease by Bessel van der Kolk:

"When people develop PTSD, the replaying of the trauma leads to sensitization: with every replay of the trauma there is an increasing level of distress. In those individuals, the traumatic event, which started out as a social and interpersonal process, develops secondary biological consequences that are hard to reverse once they become entrenched. Because these patients have intolerable sensations and feelings, their tendency is to actively avoid them. Mentally, they split off or “dissociate” these feelings; physically, their bodies tighten and brace against them. They seem to live under the assumption that if they feel those sensations and feelings, they will overwhelm them forever. These are patients who rely on medications, drugs, and alcohol to make these sensations and feelings go away, because they have lost confidence that they can learn to tolerate them without outside help. The fear of being consumed by these “terrible” feelings leads them to believe that only not feeling them will make them go away".

There is no way around trauma except through it. If we're at our wit's end, it's hard to be there for ourself, which is why the support of others in helping us through it, is crucial. This is also the reason why children who suffer trauma at the hands of their care givers are deeply traumatised. (You can read more on betrayal trauma from Jennifer Freyd).

Try tapping on the following phrases:

I'm tapping to help me through this

I'm tapping for the courage to be able to feel ...

Even though it's excruciating to feel ... I'm willing to feel 10% of it

My body bears the burden of ...

Even though I rationalise things away, my body tells a different story

I feel ... about my body and its symptoms

Even though I want to be over this, my body isn't and that makes me feel ...

If it ever occurs to people to value the honour of the mind equally with the honour of the body, we shall get a social revolution of a quite unparalleled sort ~ Dorothy L Sayers

Monday, April 14, 2014

Let your body do the talking

If you ever find yourself rationalising how you feel, or minimising things, you only have to listen to your body to hear the truth. Our body never lies. How many books have this same title? Our body tells our story for us through symptoms. Though this can be frustrating, as in the symptoms might not have gone away or might even be intensifying, it can also be a way to have our experiences validated.

We all need validation and if it is not forthcoming from other human beings, we can listen to our body instead, our body validates our experiences, it helps us take whatever it is, seriously.

 We might be sick of talking, we might not know the "right" words to tap on, we might feel we're going around in circles, so letting our body do the talking, as in tapping while tuning into physical sensations and feelings can be really helpful. It's much easier to do this when we're tapping on our own for example, as it helps keep us on track as all we have to do is tune into our body. At the same time this can be very painful, so take it easy and tap with someone else if you find yourself getting overwhelmed.

My belief is in the blood and flesh as being wiser than the intellect. The body-unconscious is where life bubbles up in us. It is how we know that we are alive, alive to the depths of our souls and in touch somewhere with the vivid reaches of the cosmos ~ D. H. Lawrence

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Why your intention when you tap is so important

The reason why you tap (or do any work) is really important. While it's natural to want to move away from anything that is painful or uncomfortable, it can often be a short term solution, a plaster on a deeper wound.

In my experience if you tap to get rid of something, or want to tap it away, there is a sense of desperation and panic about what it is you want to go. This often has the effect of just making us more frustrated while doing nothing (at least nothing permanent) to resolve the issue. If you tap instead to help you through whatever it is, it has an entirely different effect on the issue. It often feels very empowering and gives you a lot of confidence in what you can handle.

This is especially true when it comes to things you can control, such as your feelings and sensations, rather than anything to do with anyone else. Being able to sit with and feel difficult feelings and sensations is one of the best gifts we can give ourself. It makes a huge difference. It increases our resiliency no end, and when we've come through whatever it is, we're stronger, more empowered and less afraid.

So tap to help you through it, not to push it away or the many other ways we avoid our pain and hurt.

The following phrases can be really good to tap on:

Even if this ... never goes away and that makes me feel, I can accept how I feel about that

I can still love and accept myself even if this ... stays

I can give whatever it is permission to stay ...

You'll find that there will usually be a lot of tail enders (objections) with the phrases above which can provide you with great material to tap on.